Society For American Baseball Research Baseball Records Committee

Lyle Spatz, Editor June 2005 ---Albert Einstein

Not everything that counts is counted; not everything that is counted is worth counting.

Non-SABR folks are always surprised when we find errors in the playing records of the games’ elite, especially the Hall of Famers. Well here’s another one, discovered by longtime researcher Ray Gonzalez. Ray, one of SABR’s founding members, discovered an additional stolen base for Yankees Hall of Fame catcher, Bill Dickey. The encyclopedias show Dickey with four stolen bases in 1929, his first full season, but Ray found five games where Dickey had a stolen base. Ray supplied the dates: April 30, May 30, July 31, August 16, and September 25, and I went digging to confirm them. Here’s what I found (source included). April 30 vs. Washington: Dickey stole second in the seventh inning, with Garland Braxton pitching and Roy Spencer catching. (Retrosheet) May 30 at Washington (second game): Dickey stole second in the seventh inning, with Bump Hadley pitching and Bennie Tate catching. (NY Times) Bill Dickey

July 31 vs. Chicago: Dickey stole second in the eighth inning, with Hal McKain pitching and Moe Berg catching. (Retrosheet) August 16 at Detroit: Dickey stole second in the seventh inning, with Augie Prudhomme pitching and Merv Shea catching. (Retrosheet) September 25 at Boston: Dickey stole second in the ninth inning, with Milt Gaston pitching and Johnnie Heving catching. (Retrosheet)

Scott Flatow reports that when Kevin Brown of the Yankees defeated Oakland on May 14, 2005, it made him the ninth pitcher in history to have won at least 100 games in each league. Scott and David Nemec listed the previous eight in their book Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Firsts (2005 edition). Here they are in order of accomplishment: Cy Young Al Orth Jim Bunning Gaylord Perry Ferguson Jenkins Nolan Ryan Dennis Martinez Randy Johnson. Cy Young Al Orth

I look forward to seeing you all in Toronto on August 4-7. The Baseball Records Committee meeting will be on Thursday, August 4, from 6 to 7 pm. Let me know if you would like to address the group or if you have any committeerelated subject that you would like to discuss.

Below are a few items in TSN’s The 2005 Complete Baseball Record Book that Wayne McElreavy and Scott Flatow found to be in need of adjustment.

THE OLDEST NATIONAL LEAGUER
Jim O'Rourke is listed on page 12 as oldest man to play in a National League game. O’Rourke is said to have been 52 yrs and 29 days when he played his final game for the Giants on September 22, 1904. Wayne agrees that O’Rourke does hold the record, but believes his age needs adjusting. TSN (along with The Elias Book of Baseball Records) he says, is using the discredited birth date of August 22, 1852, but Total Baseball and The Baseball Encyclopedia now show O’Rourke’s birth date as September 1, 1850, which makes him 54 yrs, 21 days when he played his last game.

MOST NATIONAL LEAGUE CLUBS PLAYED FOR
Under Most Clubs Played For in the National League since 1899 (p. 12), TSN lists Jack Barry (this should actually be Shad Barry), Joe Schultz and Frank Thomas with 7. However, Scott points out that there are now three players who played for eight different National League teams. The Elias Book of Baseball Records has this correct. Chris Jones (1991-2000) played for CIN, HOU, COL, NY, SD, ARI, SF, MIL Lenny Harris (1988-still active) played for CIN, LA, NY, COL, ARI, MIL, CHI, FLA Todd Zeile (1989-2004) played for STL, CHI, PHI, LA, FLA, NY, COL, MON

MOST CLUBS PITCHED FOR IN A SEASON
Under Most Clubs Pitched On in a Season (p. 13), the record across both leagues is four, with TSN listing Mike Kilkenny in 1972 as the last pitcher to accomplish this. However, Scott reminds us that in 2003, Dan Miceli also pitched for four clubs: the Colorado Rockies, the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. The Elias Book of Baseball Records has this correct.

MOST TIMES HITTING TWO OR MORE HOME RUNS IN A GAME
On page 32, TSN correctly lists Barry Bonds as holding the National League record for Most time hitting two or more home runs in a game with 72, but Wayne noticed a typo in that along with playing for Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Bonds is also shown as having played with the Mets.

MOST HOME RUNS AT THE START OF A GAME
The American League record for Most Home Runs at the Start of Game (p. 56) is two, done many times. TSN’s listing for the last occurrence is "Boston vs. Detroit," June 3, 2002. But as Wayne says, this should read “Detroit vs Boston,” as the two players to do it were Benito Santiago and Damion Easley of the Tigers.

Todd Zeile

Lenny Harris

Dan Miceli

In a recently conducted independent review of major league games for 1871-1961, Frank Vaccaro turned up a tie game that does not appear in any current database. The game was the second of a doubleheader that the White Sox played at Detroit on May 26, 1932. Box scores for this game appeared in all the newspapers the next day and also in the June 2, 1932 issue of The Sporting News. The game is also listed in the 1933 Reach Baseball Guide's list of Detroit's 79 home games for the 1932 season. Player stats from the game appeared in weekly published totals for all players involved, but then disappeared by August, just around the time the league threw out an August 1 Detroit loss at home against the Yankees. The league ruled, however, that the stats from the August 1 game would count. Frank wonders if it’s possible that the Howe Sports Bureau threw out the wrong game. In the May 26 tie, the bottom of the fifth inning went unplayed. Coincidentally, the rules had explicitly been changed prior to 1931 to count tie games just like this. If a researcher had a list of "legitimate ties" for the American League in 1932, his list would read CHI 2, DET 2, and NY 1, CLE 1. If this same researcher, unaware of the rules change counting 4 1/2 inning games, failed to count it and instead counted the no-decision "thrown out August 1" game, his list of ties" for the year would total three: apparently matching the established league totals. But what makes the May 26, 1932 game problematic is that there is no data either way regarding the status of the game. Having been quietly omitted from the records without explanation, there seems to be "no error to correct." Most important: there is no mechanism whereby this game can be re-considered as having been inadvertently omitted. After all, says Frank, this situation has not happened before and most likely will not happen again. Speaking on behalf of all those who maintain databases, and for the benefit of three baseball encyclopedias - all of whom prefer to be neutral loggers of history - he hopes that more researchers will look into this game and reach a consensus as to whether the stats of the players involved merit inclusion in the data base.

In the June 2003 newsletter I wrote a detailed account of Bob Hoie’s research into the first game of the Red Sox doubleheader at Chicago on May 16, 1943. Bob was following up on some original research done by Cliff Kachline that proved previous encyclopedias that credited Al Olsen with a pinch hit appearance in that game were incorrect. Cliff showed that Olsen never played in that game (or any other major league game) and believed that the game played, and subsequent walk and stolen base, should be credited to Leon Culberson. However, Bob showed that awarding them to Culberson was also incorrect and that in fact they should go to Johnny Lazor. For a full account of this mix up see page two of the June 2003 Baseball Records Committee newsletter. Bob decided to check on what the various published and on-line encyclopedias and data bases have done with this information and found quite a mixed bag. According to Bob, Total Baseball and BaseballReference.com have moved the game played, walk, and stolen base from Culberson to Lazor, while The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia has left all three with Culberson. Neft and Cohen’s Sports EncyclopediaBaseball moved the walk and stolen base to Lazor but left the game played with Culberson. Retrosheet moved the walk to Lazor but left the game played and stolen base with Culberson. Leon Culberson

Johnny Lazor

Walt Wilson’s list of battery mates for Hall of Fame pitchers during their starts and shutouts continues with two men who spent a good part of their careers with the Philadelphia Phillies: Jim Bunning and Steve Carlton. CATCHING JIM BUNNING Jim Bunning pitched for Detroit (AL) 1955-63; Philadelphia (NL) 1964-67, 1970-71; Pittsburgh (NL) 1968-69; and Los Angeles (NL) 1969. He made 519 starts and pitched 40 shutouts. Starts Shutouts Clay Dalrymple 96 16 Red Wilson 55 3 Dick Brown 54 4 Gus Triandos 48 4 Lou Berberet 33 1 Frank House 28 0 Jerry May 24 1 Manny Sanguillen 23 0 Tim McCarver 20 0 Bob Uecker 18 2 Mike Roarke 17 2 Gene Oliver 15 3 Mike Ryan 14 0 Harry Chiti 9 1 Pat Corrales 9 0 Mike Compton 8 0 Bill Freehan 7 0 Tom Haller 6 0 Jim Hegan 6 2 Charlie Lau 5 0 Doc Edwards 4 0 Hank Foiles 4 0 J. W. Porter 4 1 Del Bates 3 0 Carl Taylor 3 0 Jeff Torborg 3 0 Chris Cannizzaro 1 0 Jimmie Schaffer 1 0 Tim Thompson 1 0 Total 519 40 All of Bunning’s shutouts were with one catcher. CATCHING STEVE CARLTON
Steve Carlton pitched for St. Louis (NL) 1930-42);

Philadephia (NL) 1972-1986; San Francisco (NL) 1986; Chicago (AL) 1986; Cleveland (AL) 1987; and Minnesota (AL) 1987-88. He made 709 starts and pitched 55 shutouts. Starts Shutouts Tim McCarver 228 20 Bob Boone 146 11 Bo Diaz 79 9 Ted Simmons 46 4 Ozzie Virgil 39 0 John Bateman 27 5 Joe Torre 22 2 Johnny Oates 15 0 Darren Daulton 13 0 Rick Dempsey 10 0 Mike Ryan 9 0 Johnny Edwards 7 2 Keith Moreland 7 0 Dave Ricketts 7 1 Bob Melvin 6 0 Ron Karkovice 5 0 John Russell 5 0 Larry Cox 4 0 Tim Laudner 4 0 John Romano 4 0 John Wockenfuss 4 0 Ron Hassey 3 0 Jerry McNertney 3 0 Andy Allenson 2 0 Chris Bando 2 0 Sal Butera 2 0 Pat Corrales 2 0 Jim Essian 2 0 Carlton Fisk 2 0 Tom Nieto 2 0 Bob Stinson 1 0 Bob Uecker 1 0 Total 709 55 One of Carlton’s shutouts was with more than one catcher.